Important Bird Areas-IBAs: Beirut River Valley
The site consists mainly of Beirut River water shed, extending 20km west from Falougha, where the river rises, to the outskirts of Hazmeih, just east of Beirut. Total area: 8096 ha
IBA Criteria met: A4iv
In spring, large numbers of White Stork and White Pelican pass over, while in autumn 2006 over 70,000 birds of prey were seen migrating south, including 51,000 European Honey-buzzard and over 5000 each of Levant Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard and Lesser Spotted Eagle. Total number of soaring birds seen in autumn (71,910) far exceeds the 5,000 needed to satisfy Category A4iv. Number of species observed: 41
Fast-flowing river, flowing westwards in a deep valley, with Pine woodland dominating the northern slopes while the southern slopes are mostly scrub and cultivated land with scattered villages. High rocky cliffs found at the eastern end of the valley and the river is lined with tall deciduous trees and dense undergrowth.
Other wildlife interest:
Many mammal species including Egyptian Fruit-bat, Rock Hyrax, Porcupine, Persian Squirrel, Jackal, Wild Boar, Red Fox, and Badger in the densely forested, less disturbed rocky slopes.
Hunting, fire, urban development, deforestation, water pollution, sewage pollution & solid waste dumping, over-grazing
Current conservation measures & future plans:
Current – none. Future – work with municipalities and NGOs to reduce habitat degradation, fires and hunting.